Blog (A5E) A Question of Culture & Destiny

As you may know by now, a Level Up character’s origin is comprised of heritage, culture, background, and destiny. We’ve covered heritages and backgrounds in detail recently, so now it’s time to look at the other two pieces of that puzzle.


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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
The Narrator should always decide which cultures exist in their setting. We provide guidance on that. You can’t have Dragonbound cultures in a world without dragons! But we provide the cultures so you can make the decision.
I noticed similar wording in some of the destinies for sample characters giving the gm more say in things than o5e. Little details like making it clear that the gm has signifcant say in the world like what you mention about cultures will be a nice quality of life change
 

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RPGMajor

Explorer
The Narrator should always decide which cultures exist in their setting. We provide guidance on that. You can’t have Dragonbound cultures in a world without dragons! But we provide the cultures so you can make the decision.
Interesting, I missed the wording making that part explicit. Guess I'm used to o5e books not even really paying lip service to those sort of things being up to the DM and instead all but outright stating that your world/game has to conform to their vision (yes I know no one is actually making you, but the way especially recent books have been written definitely present things with that implication).

I guess another thing Level up does right (and I was already planning on homebrewing some additional cultures for my setting, and not allowing others, but it's nice to see the game itself openly embrace the DM/narrator/storyteller's ability to make those calls), so kudos.
 



Masha

Villager
It's not that hard to make new cultures. A little tricky, since they're more complicated than backgrounds are, but not that much more. You'd probably have to look at the dwarf cultures first and see what makes your type of rock gnome different than them.
Brings up an interesting point, is there any guidance given to making hb heritages, cultures and backgrounds? For O5e we tend to have Detect Balance and similar scoring system, PF has a scoring system baked into their races. Anything in LU that aids in experimentation in that direction?
 
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Waller

Hero
Brings up an interesting point, is there any guidance given to making hb heritages, cultures and backgrounds? For 5e we tend to have Detect Balance and similar scoring system, PF has a scoring system baked into their races. Anything in LU that aids in experimentation in that direction?
Detect Balance isn't in 5E. It was made by a fan who reverse-engineered the core rulebooks. I'm sure LU will have similar fan-created resources.
 

Masha

Villager
Detect Balance isn't in 5E. It was made by a fan who reverse-engineered the core rulebooks. I'm sure LU will have similar fan-created resources.
I know that, but wouldn't it be so nice if LU had something baked in like PF? Coming from the horse's mouth guarantees the most accuracy after all.
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
Brings up an interesting point, is there any guidance given to making hb heritages, cultures and backgrounds? For O5e we tend to have Detect Balance and similar scoring system, PF has a scoring system baked into their races. Anything in LU that aids in experimentation in that direction?
I just mostly eyeballed it when I made my own. And I'll go back over them when I see all the actual heritages and cultures, to make sure they fit in.
 


Faolyn

(she/her)
What the heck is Detect Balance?
It's this guideline someone came up with where he basically assigned points to all the different racial traits that existed at the time, with the idea that a balanced official race had between X and Y points (can't remember the number). So you would take a homebrew race and use the guideline to determine whether it was over- or under-powered.

It hasn't been updated in a few years, and when I asked the guy about it a couple of months ago, he said he doesn't have plans to do so.
 

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